Self-sabotage is a big problem in fitness and life. Destructive beliefs and habits can make success impossible even with the best diet and exercise program. That’s why this week’s topic is all about exposing these self-sabotaging beliefs so you can identify and address those that are holding you back from your fitness goals.
#1 Expecting fast results
It’s hard to feel motivated when you feel like you’re in the slow lane and everyone else is making faster progress. Making slow progress can feel like you’ll never achieve your goals so you pull the plug and look for some other way to make progress.
Realize that everyone makes progress at their own pace. Some people can make things seem easy and make faster progress, others are slower to get going. This is perfectly fine. The important thing is to make progress as you can and know that even slow progress is still helping you move forward.
#2 Stop believing in yourself
Your belief in yourself is vital for your success. Your mind will not let you succeed unless you feel in your heart that it’s possible.
I find it’s helpful to remember the rules of fitness are natural principles that apply to everyone. As I discuss in my book, Fitness Independence, no one is exempt from the laws of nature and therefore the laws governing your fitness. There’s no reason to doubt your ability to succeed because everyone has access to the same natural laws as everyone else.
#3 Getting stuck in the past
I know it’s easy to get stuck thinking about your glory days. However, your future progress doesn’t lie in the past. Putting too much attention on what’s behind you will make it almost impossible to move forward toward a brighter future.
Learn from your past and employ whatever lessons you can glean from it. Just understand that getting in shape is about moving forward, not backward. Look forward to the success you want to achieve and put more attention toward building your future rather than longing for a past you may very well be misremembering.
#4 Dwelling on past mistakes
Once again, focusing too much attention on your mistakes can cause you to take your eye off the ball and miss the opportunities at your feet.
Mistakes and mishaps happen to everyone. They’re going to happen in your future, again and again, it’s no big deal. Learn what you can from your mistakes so you don’t repeat them and use them to fuel your future progress.
#5 Fear of failure
Fear of failure is a self-sabotaging belief that can stop you before you even get started. It’s caused more than a few people to throw up their hands and not even try to make a change in the diet and exercise habits.
Resign yourself to the fact that failure is a strong possibility, but also know that you have unlimited attempts to keep trying. Meanwhile, employ diet and exercise habits that make you feel good in the short term. That way, you’ll receive some measure of benefit no matter what the long-term outcome may be.
#6 Resisting change
Change is always necessary to make progress. Always doing things the same way doesn’t just prevent you from moving forward, it makes you lose ground over time. As the saying goes, you’re either moving forward or backward, there’s no such thing as standing still.
Look for small ways to improve your habits every single day. You don’t have to overhaul your entire diet or workout program every week. Just looking for slight modifications to how you eat and exercise can make all the difference in the world.
#7 Giving up your power
Fitness is a self-lead journey. No one will probably ever care or understand you more than yourself. Giving all of your decision-making power to someone or some program leaves you powerless to make your own choices around what’s best for you.
Experts and coaches are great leaders, and they can give you a lot of great advice. Just remember that you’re the one in charge of the choices you make. No one can live your life for you, so it’s best to recognize your own power and start doing what you feel is best for you.
#8 Focusing too much on your weaknesses
Everyone has their weaknesses, but focusing too much on what you believe is holding you back can self-sabotage you at every turn.
People who build muscle or lose weight find their success has just as many obstacles as everyone else. The difference is they recognize those weaknesses and learn to work around them. They understand that focusing on your weaknesses blinds you to your strengths and assets which are the real key to achieving your goals.
Fitness success isn’t owed to anyone. Mother Nature doesn’t care who you are, but believe you deserve to be lean, strong and fit despite your healthy habits will only hold you back.
Understanding that success is earned can be very empowering. It means the results you want are out there waiting for you to do what it takes to get to them. It’s a heck of a lot better than sitting around waiting for them to arrive by random chance.
#10 Lack of vision
Your body will never go anywhere your mind doesn’t direct it. If your mind isn’t able to visualize the results you want, your body will never change the way you want.
Spend a few minutes each day mentally thinking about what you want. Imagine how you will look, feel and perform once you’ve reached your goals. It’s a simple yet powerful way to give your body the information you need to change the way you want.
Hard work is important, but overworking is a huge way many self-sabotage their fitness and weight loss success. You can only work so hard, and the more you overextend yourself the less effort you can put into the quality of your habits.
You cannot simply work your way to the body of your dreams. Believe me, I’ve tried and it was a complete disaster every time.
The real key isn’t to just work hard but work productively. Make sure you have a goal to accomplish something with each meal and workout you do so you take a few steps forward every time.
#12 Turning back at the first failure
This is another massive self-sabotaging belief. People turn and run at the first sign that things are not going too smoothly. If you turn tail and run, or quit, every time the going gets tough you’ll never see yourself through to your goals.
Accept that failure and taking a fall is part of success. Critics and haters will behave as if you’re not supposed to mess up, but that’s foolish. you’re going to fall on the way to the top. You’ll probably falter many times in fact and this is perfectly normal. Learn from each fall, get back up and continue to move forward.